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What are acoustic attenuators?

Supplier: Noise Control Engineering
05 March, 2013

Used to reduce noise generated by air or gas flow without compromising the air or gas flow itself and with keeping the pressure drop as low as possible, acoustic attenuators or noise silencers are commonly used in multiple domestic, industrial, or mixed applications

The primary fields of application for acoustic attenuators are HVAC systems, fan inlets and discharge at radiators, cooling towers, etc. - basically, anywhere, where air, flowing to or from specific equipment, generates noise. Acoustic attenuators are used in order to reduce noise to the industry acceptable level.

Types of Acoustic Attenuators

Several basic types of acoustic attenuators are distinguished, depending on the design or construction, which, in its turn, is dictated by the peculiarities of a specific application. For example, either circular or rectangular attenuators are used depending on the type of the inlets or outlets of the system, where such noise control equipment should be fitted.

If it is a suction pipeline, then circular silencers are used, sometimes with custom-made flanges to meet the diameter of a particular piping. Large-scale HVAC systems often have air channels of rectangular shape; consequently, similar rectangular acoustic attenuators will work best in that case.

In cases when it is not possible to use straight silencers, the so-called elbow or bend attenuators are used. Those are usually characterised with the larger pressure drop (sometimes up to 50 % increase) in comparison to acoustic attenuators of the straight design. This fact should to be kept in mind when planning a noise control solution.
Another particular type of acoustic silencers is called cross-talk attenuators, also known as air-relief silencers.

Such attenuators are primarily designed to address the issue of transferring occupational noise, such as people’s conversations, from one room to another via air-conditioner or ventilation ducts. Cross-talk attenuators help reduce the transfer of noise and ensure the privacy of the occupational spaces without compromising air flow in both directions. Schools, office centers, hospitals, libraries, and other public places are the best candidates for installing cross-talk attenuators.

How to Choose and Maintain Acoustic Attenuators?

In order to make a proper choice of an acoustic attenuator, it is necessary to consider several factors, such as type of equipment, where a silencer will be installed, technical characteristics of pipelines (shape, diameter, etc.), affordable pressure drop, and peculiarities of a working environment (indoor, outdoor, increased humidity, or presence of aggressive elements).

NCE experts can help you with choosing an acoustic attenuator among those available in standard dimensions; alternatively, the company is ready to design a custom acoustic silencer to ensure the highest performance of the noise control solution.

Acoustic attenuators installed indoors usually do not require any maintenance for the entire period of the equipment use. When installed outdoors, regular checks (twice a year) are recommended for the potential corrosion. Furthermore, if acoustic attenuators are placed at environments with an extremely high humidity level or if they are exposed to some aggressive chemicals, more frequent inspections are necessary with the adequate maintenance provided.

Noise Control Engineering, offers a complete range of acoustic attenuators to meet literally any need a customer may have in the field of noise reduction. Both ready-made silencers and custom built solutions are offered. Contact us today for a no obligations quote.